Five Reasons Biden Might be Wrong About the Pandemic Being Over

The Hill | By Joseph Choi

President Biden boldly claimed in an interview over the weekend that the pandemic is over, but public health experts — and U.S. statistics — put those remarks in serious doubt.

Coronavirus cases and deaths in the U.S. have been on a steady decline in recent weeks following a slight rise due to the BA.5 omicron subvariant.

However, tens of thousands of new cases are still being recorded daily, hundreds of Americans are still dying of the virus every day and enthusiasm for immunization has all but stagnated. 

In his “60 Minutes” interview, Biden acknowledged the U.S. still has “a problem with COVID,” but pointed to the fact that people were not wearing masks at the event he was attending as evidence that the pandemic phase of COVID-19 is over.

He sought to walk back the remarks on Tuesday, saying the pandemic is “not where it was.”

But he has maintained the core of his argument: COVID-19 has reached a new, less severe phase. 

Many have been waiting for the pandemic to become endemic.

For a virus to be considered endemic, it would still exist within communities, but it would not severely impact medical providers and health systems. 

Available information paints a picture of a country that, while making strides in combating the outbreak, is far from being in the clear. 


While cases are declining, they are still far from being the lowest they have ever been throughout the pandemic. 

Case rates for COVID-19 currently stand at a seven-day moving average of about 55,000 cases per day, a marked decline from the hundreds of thousands of infections that were seen at the start of this year when the omicron wave peaked. 

This rate is still more than twice what the U.S. saw in April before BA.5 rose in dominance.

Since the start of the pandemic, case rates reached their lowest in June 2021 when they dipped below 12,000 per day for a few weeks. 

Half of all U.S. counties are currently considered to have low COVID-19 community levels, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Another 36 percent of counties have medium COVID-19 community levels, and 13 percent have high community levels.  

This leaves half the communities in the country in a place where mask wearing is still recommended by the CDC in some situations, particularly for those at high risk for severe illness. 

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